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Airport vows rapid service for VIP fliers
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Priority channels will be opened next week at Beijing's airport for officials, athletes and media visiting the capital for the Olympics next month and Paralympics in September as part of efforts to improve services, airport officials said on Friday.

Beijing Capital International Airport has said that it expects to receive in excess of 60,000 Olympic and Paralympic Games officials, athletes and journalists.

With the new channels, these members of the "Olympic Family" will have to spend no more than 10 minutes waiting to check in, and less than 15 minutes to go through immigration and security checks, the airport's general manager Dong Zhiyi said.

"There will be volunteers guiding Olympic Family members through the whole process, and groups of more than 15 members can check in at the Olympic Village," he said.

The airport has also promised to raise its service standards, starting from Tuesday - one-month before the Games begin.

Passengers will spend no more than eight minutes passing through the security checks and less than 10 minutes checking-in for domestic flights, Dong said.

"We will ensure 95 percent of our passengers go through these processes within the specified time limits," he said.

"Exceptions will be made only in cases where officials believe an individual merits closer inspection."

Promises made by airport officials in August to improve its services have helped it catch up with the service standards of previous Olympic hosts Athens and Sydney in terms of customer satisfaction before the Games, Dong said.

A survey on customer satisfaction conducted in the second quarter of this year by the Airport Council International showed that Beijing's airport achieved a score of 4.07 on a scale of 1 to 5, Dong said.

Two years ago, when the recently opened Terminal 3 (T3) was still under construction, the rate was only 3.51.

The airport had resolved to improve its services and achieve a 3.7 score by the end of last year, which is higher than what Sydney achieved (3.69 in 2006), he said.

Beijing Capital International Airport is aiming to earn a score of 4.0 before the Games begin, which would be higher than what Athens got (3.82 in 2006), he said.

The capital's airport is the first one in Asia that operates three runways, three terminal buildings and two control towers, all at the same time.

In the 100 days following the opening of T3 on Feb 29, the airport handled more than 62,000 flights and 8 million passengers, official figures showed.

(China Daily July 5, 2008)

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